Top 100 CD’s (2000-2009) –> #59 through #50

#59: Lovage/Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By (2001) — Dan ‘the Automator’ Nakamura’s contribution to trip-hop/hip-hop in the earlier part of the decade is unparalleled (see Gorillaz, Deltron 2000, Handsome Boy Modeling School). But when matched up with Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk) and the sultry Jennifer Charles (an underrated, sexy voice if ever there was one), the results were exceptional. Combining trip-hop with campy humor, R&B, brilliant samples and a lustful sense of narrative the results are far greater than the sum of their parts. Check out: ‘Pit Stop (Take Me Home),’ ‘Book of the Month,’ and ‘Strangers on a Train.’

#58: Ben Harper & The Relentless7/White Lies for Dark Times (2009) –Quite simply, it’s been 10 years since Harper has rocked out so consistently through an entire album. If the Relentless7 are a leaner, meaner version of the Innocent Criminals, I’m down with what they’re cooking up. The whole album is all killer, no filler. Check out: ‘Why Must You Always Dress in Black,’ ‘Keep it Together (So I Can Fall Apart),’ and ‘Fly One Time.’

#57: Bloc Party/Intimacy (2007) –Bloc Party’s third proper studio album took a hot minute to get into. It was a louder, angrier album than the past two, yet had some amazing somber moments as well. The usage of electronics on this record added a new element that revitalized the band’s sound. Kele Okereke’s storytelling continues and it’s a wonderful thing. Check out: ‘Halo,’ ‘Signs’ and the U.S. version bonus track, ‘Flux.’

#56: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/Baby 81 (2007) –Perhaps one of the most underrated bands of the decade, BRMC really hit all the nails on the proverbial head with their fourth album. This is a brilliant dark band that incorporates blues, rock andfolk in a tight-woven pastiche of sound and mood. The best way to describe it is, imagine an American version of The Doves. Check out: ‘Weapon of Choice,’ ‘666 Conducer,’ and ‘Am I Only.’

#55: Alexisonfire/Watch Out! (2004) –Alexisonfire are one of, I think, three bands that prove good things can come from Canada (no, Nickelback isn’t one of the three, sorry…) While there have been shining moments on subsequent albums, Watch Out! is what really put the band on the map. There is a purity in the noise, the loud/soft dynamics. It also makes for a great snowboarding album and Dallas Green is one of the best vocalists/lyricist of the decade. Check out: ‘Control,’ ‘No Transitory,’ and ‘Happiness by the Kilowatt.’

#54: Blessthefall/His Last Walk (2006) –blessthefall were another act I had an opportunity to work with at the start of my stint with RS. Anger is a difficult emotion to deal with – you’re always looking for ways to master or control it or to deal w/ it constructively. His Last Walk does that. Perhaps because it’s a Christian metal-screamo band behind the visage. While they utilize the ever popular clean vs. growl vocal style, the guitar riffs are much better than their peers. They’re basically what A Dozen Furies could’ve been. Check out ‘Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad,’ ‘Rise Up,’ and ‘Wait for Tomorrow.’

#53: Thrice/Beggars (2009) –some six years removed from ‘Artist,’ we find a different Thrice, all together. In between, the band would graduate to major label status, release a 4-EP double album, a live disc, and return to the independent world. During this timespan, the band would experime…nt with it’s sound and with their influences, remaining true to who they were as musicians from day one. Beggars is chock full of great tunes — from the ‘I got your back,’ vibe of ‘The Weight,’ to the vagabond heart of ‘In Exhile,’ to the angsty swallowed guitar squalor of ‘Beggars.’

#52: deftones/deftones (2003) –ah, the memories of summer 2003. I still couldn’t believe on Metallica’s Summer Sanitarium tour that the Deftones (four albums in at this point) got opener status below bands like Mudvayne, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. The opening chords of ‘Hexagram,’ harkened back to the D-tones breakthrough record ‘Around the Fur.’ Dark, dense, layered rhythms. This album, and its artwork, were so awe-inspiring that I utilized the roses as inspiration for one of my tattoos. Chino shouts to the heavens on this release and I will always hold fast to those gutteral monkeyshines. Here’s to Che. Check out: ‘Hexagram,’ ‘Battle-Axe,’ and ‘Bloody Cape.’

#51: City & Colour/Bring Me Your Love (2008) –if I were able to play guitar, these are the songs I’d want to write. No more is this more self-evident on all 12 tracks displayed on Dallas Green’s side project, City and Colour’s second disc. Achingly beautiful acoustic folk songs that ruminate upon man’s existence and the necessity of love along the road of years we travel. Check out: ‘Body in a Box,’ ‘What Makes a Man?’ and ‘The Girl.’

#50: William Fitzsimmons/The Sparrow and the Crow (2009) –some music is like a sea change in your life. I’ve found that a man and a guitar can say just as much as a fully plugged in five-piece with backing orchestra. Fitzsimmons hails from a cold, rural part of Pennsylvania and holed himself …up to write one of the darkest break-up albums known to man. This album came to me late last year (despite it’s 2009 physical release) as I was coping in my own life with such a thing and connected with me. My collection would be incomplete without this piece of art. Check out: ‘After Afterall,’ ‘They’ll Never Take the Good Years,’ and ‘You Hurt Me.’

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~ by kjbox76 on November 21, 2009.

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